Do you feel driven to exceed expectations and go above and beyond what is asked of you? Do you fear mediocrity and always go the extra mile to ensure you don’t get lumped in with the average folks? Do you want to be known as the best of the best with the most of the most? How do you feel about gold stars? If you crave the validation of high praise, you might be an Overachiever.
“Nothing succeeds like success,” said the prolific Alexandre Dumas, a classic Overachiever who is one of the most widely read authors in French history. This is the creed of Overachievers. They are doers who rack up the evidence of their effort through record-setting accomplishments, distinguished honors, trophies, and awards. They are not satisfied with low numbers of achieved goals. They are driven to do and have the most and the best. They are competitive. Even when there is no one in their league, they will compete against their own record best.
- Setting high goals
- Making lists and checking off the completed tasks
- Beating the existing record
- Founding things, like clubs, groups, and businesses
- Making tough choices
A Happy Overachiever
Overachievers love talking about their achievements. They are not necessarily “full of themselves,” but they do enjoy sharing the story of their process and progress with others. They have a trophy shelf or a wall for their certificates and medals. These types spend many long, hard hours working on projects so being able to talk about what they’ve done, share the interesting highlights, show pictures, and display awards is the icing on the cake. (And an Overachiever’s cake will likely have a fancy fondant or an edible sugared image and perhaps a sparkler or two.) You can find happy Overachievers in the panel discussions of conferences, and they are often the keynote speakers of huge events.
Martha Stewart, Oprah, Paul Newman, Dr. Oz, Richard Branson, children of Tiger Moms
Useful and fortifying relationships will be built with the Angel, Lover, Besty, Activist, Cheerleader, Genius, Inventor, Athlete, Explorer, Believer, Diva, and Goof, who will help the Overachiever remember not to take himself or herself too seriously
Overachiever in Love
The Overachiever is an attractive and desirable partner who offers a degree of security in relationships. The Overachiever is so confident that his or her partner often feels like everything is going to be okay as long as the Overachiever is in the picture. Partners who are excellent at supporting and helping are best for the Overachiever.
Two Overachievers together can work, but it’s not the easiest scenario. They sometimes fall into patterns of trying to steer the relationship and exert too much control over the other person. When they turn their strong spirit of competition toward each other, the resulting intensity can warrant its own reality show.
Caution: Overachieving could be a function oflow self-esteem, with the person using achievements to demonstrate worth the Overachiever does not feel inside. The Overachiever is wise to check his or her motives. Am I doing this because I think it will personally satisfy me or because I’m looking for a certain reaction from others?
How to Play It
No person, regardless of rank and achievement, is more valuable than another person. If you’re an Overachiever, know you are equal to everyone else. You do not have to prove anything to be worthy of love and attention. Go for your dreams because that’s what makes you feel most alive, not because you fear that you are unworthy of love unless you make an impressive contribution. You are enough just as you are. Act, do, and give for no other reason but the joy that it brings you.